Many months ago, I saw an article about healing through doing handicrafts. After that, I began to do some DIY work like molding clay, sewing, embroidery, painting, drawing, diamond painting, etc.
Each type of hobby engages the nervous system and hands slightly differently, and in the process of moving the hands, different emotions and sensations are activated and released for healing. The article mentioned a lot of knitting and crocheting projects, like doing carpets, dolls, coasters, etc., but I absolutely avoided that kind of projects, because I had no faith in myself when it came to that sort of work. There you go, major healing required around this area!
Before I saw that article, I did some wood modeling puzzles that my cousin in Melbourne bought for me. That was healing too, in an unexpected sort of way. Specifically, it strengthened my tactile sensory inputs, which grounded me in the process of handling the wooden pieces, and I gradually gained confidence in doing things with my hands which later allowed me to tackle some minor repairs around the house.
A question came up as I thought about healing projects. Does that mean everyone who has a hobby, who does anything, like cooking, cleaning, gardening, are healing themselves? Yes and no. You can play a sport, a game, a hobby, etc., for your entire life without healing yourself through it. So how exactly is it healing?
Usually when we engage in an activity, our focus is outward. But when we do healing, our focus has to be inward.
Going back to my experience with the wooden puzzles, I observed several things about myself while doing them: my breathing (rhythm and volume); my body posture; my strategy, style, tools, organization, and technique in assembling the pieces; my focus and determination; etc. Clearly, there was engagement at the mental and physical levels. But because I was playing background music as well, that added the emotional component to the whole process, and I could enjoy it more. Otherwise I would have approached it like a piece of homework, and the enjoyment level would have been much lower. So it was also an opportunity for me to re-define my relationship with doing things, to see each task as an enjoyment rather than a chore, to stand in a position of joy rather than obligation, requirement, responsibility, etc.
The most significant releases during my assembling of the puzzles were the muscular tension. I had a tendency to tense up when I had to do something that required precision. So I retrained my nervous system and muscles to relax in the process, and there was so much release that the tinkling sensation made me numb.
The tension was old, in the sense that it contracted my energy fields as well as warped my physical posture so much that an acupuncturist had to pick my energy fields up in an attempt to straighten my posture. The acupuncture treatment was only a band-aid solution, as it did not address the psychological nor neurological causes.
My current engagements with ping pong and pool are also for healing purposes. That’s my primary objective, though I don’t mind if I occasionally pick up a technique and actually be good at the sport.
These two sports are so different that they offered me very different healing opportunities. I would like to invest myself in billiards more, but haven’t been able to, because my energy isn’t always flowing properly, due to exhaustion, inability to align all my energy fields, etc. The errors I make reflect my inability to control of my energy flow.
Sometimes even after a meal, I cannot play billiards, because the body requires so much energy and effort to digest the food that it doesn’t free up enough energy, or I don’t have surplus energy for the game. In fact, digestion disrupts the overall energy flow of my body so much that I can’t execute my shots precisely.
Health is the result of proper energy flow. When you are healthy, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, then every part of your life—your job, your marriage, your finance, etc.—will be successful.
Both ping pong and pool have an emotional component. My own experience is that you can go into a shot with emotions, meaning that you shoot with emotions. This mistake is more likely to happen with ping pong than with pool, at least for me that is. Because with pool, there’s mental space between each shot that typically you have time to clear away the emotions before you actually deliver the shot. But you may execute with emotions too, for whatever reason, though that would have a higher chance of error because emotions are hard to control, which means precision goes down if emotions are included.
I can clear the emotions before and during a shot in pool, but I find that I have a lot of emotions coming out of a shot. Usually that’s when I fail to pocket the ball. This part isn’t healing. Emotional reaction is not healing. Emotional release is.
So sometimes after I fail to pocket, I mentally go back to the psychological position I was in before I made that shot. It’s easy for me to go back to before, but not during. If the psychological plane is a film, and I were to rewind and replay the film frame by frame, to examine and uncover the location of the error, I find it hard to follow through the execution part. I can only review, frame by frame, the preparation part. I think that means my attention is only traveling along the mental level, not the neurological level nor the muscular level. I didn’t train my perception to go to those levels, and hence they are currently my blindspots.
As you can see, there are so many opportunities for us to explore ourselves in each activity that you can never get bored. So what hobbies are you engage in now?